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MNAAP Newsletter

Member Profile: Kathleen Kulus, MD, FAAP Pediatrician at CentraCare Clinic

Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you complete your training?

I joined St. Cloud Women and Children’s Clinic right after residency 18 years ago.  About a year and half later, we joined CentraCare Clinic and I was the 12th member of what has now become a 20-person group of pediatric providers.  I attended high school in Edina, undergrad at the College of St.

Benedict, medical school at Mayo and residency at the University of Utah Medical Center/Primary Children’s Hospital. At CentraCare, I work as a general pediatrician. I have special interests in hematology-oncology and work with two other physicians here to cover our outpatient chemotherapy infusion center in conjunction with Children’s Pediatric Hem-Onc Group.

Are there any special programs or initiatives you’ve been involved with?

Our entire group has been involved with improving asthma care for our patients over the last several years and our rates of optimal asthma care have dramatically increased. We were also one of the first sites in the state to be certified as a health care home and continue to improve on that process. We are now working on initiatives to improve immunization rates and improve access to the electronic medical record for our patients.

What are some of the biggest challenges you (and/or your patients) face on a daily basis?

I think some of my biggest challenges are vaccine hesitancy/refusal among our patients’ families, economic disparity and the increasing costs of health care affecting patients directly (particularly with self-funded HRAs/HSAs and high deductibles,) and keeping up with available technology. I continue to keep open discussions with my patients’ families regarding immunizations and provide as much information as possible to them. I am hopeful that health care reform will continue to improve access to care for children, and in terms of technology, I continue to be involved with our EMR… and my kids help keep me up to date!

What do you enjoy most about being a pediatrician?

I love being in the exam room with my patients and their families. Seeing children grow and develop and the relationships we have built over the years has been amazing. I also enjoy watching a hospitalized child become well again.

 If you weren’t a pediatrician, what would you be and why?

I love all of the weather apps on my phone, the Weather Channel and watching for storms, so I think I’d have to say a meteorologist.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? Any hobbies/interests outside of medicine? Family?

I am a hockey mom!  All four of my children play hockey and I love watching them play and my husband coach.  They are also involved in theatre, soccer, softball, tennis, and football and I try to attend as many events as I can.

I also love to read, sew, knit, ski (alpine and Nordic), in-line skate, bike, run, hike, canoe, camp, kayak…..maybe I’m too busy to be a pediatrician!

 Anything else fellow members might be interested to know?

We own property on Turtle Lake just north of Grand Rapids and are in the process of building a log cabin. We have been using trees from the property to do this – my husband cuts them down, we help to peel them, then hand scribe and notch them. So far, it has been about 7 years, and will probably take that many more!

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